Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Linda M. Whiteford, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Susan D. Greenbaum, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Cecilia M. Jevitt, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Steven Reader, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Nancy Romero-Daza, Ph.D.


teen births, spatial analysis, hot spot analysis, mapping, socoieconomic index, small area analysis


This work investigates births to white, African American and Hispanic adolescents in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties, Florida, from 1992 to 1997 in two age groups - 13 to 17 year-olds and 18 to 19 year-olds - using spatial statistical techniques along with key informant interviews to provide insights into the utility of the research findings. The research developed a method for estimating the adolescent population in inter-census years, which was used to determine denominators for calculating teen birth rates. It also developed a composite deprivation index using socioeconomic indicators at the census block group level. The index provided context for hot and cold spot analysis, areas where expected teen birth rates were statistically higher or lower than expected. The association between socioeconomic deprivation in a neighborhood and rates of teen births was inconclusive, indicating a need for further research. Next steps include investigating individual-level risk and protective factors using multi-level modeling and cluster analysis as alternate analytic methods, and conducting ethnographic investigation to help provide context to the neighborhoods.